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Tennis star Nadal to carry Spanish flag at Rio Olympics

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - Tennis star Rafael Nadal is to carry the Spanish flag at the August 5 opening ceremony for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) said Wednesday.

"Spanish sport had a debt to pay back to Rafael Nadal," COE president Alejandro Blanco said. "He has done so much, so much more than just his results."

Nadal, 14-time grand slam winner, was scheduled to carry the flag at London 2012 before pulling out with injury. He won the gold medal in the men‘s singles at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Italy also announced its flag-carrier Wednesday with the honour going to swimmer Federica Pellegrini.

"It was a decision of the people," Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said. "I‘m very happy with it."

Pellegrin was the 200-metre freestyle champion in Beijing and has multiple world titles to her name.

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